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Style of Martin Schongauer, The Virgin and Child in a Garden

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child in a Garden
Artist Style of Martin Schongauer
Artist dates active 1469; died 1491
Date made 1469-91
Medium and support Oil on lime
Dimensions 30.2 × 21.9 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Queen Victoria at the Prince Consort's wish, 1863
Inventory number NG723
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Virgin and Child in a Garden
Style of Martin Schongauer

In this small painting, the Virgin Mary and infant Christ are seated in an enclosed garden (known in Latin as a hortus conclusus, it traditionally symbolised Mary’s virginity). She holds out a flower to her son – a ‘pink’, also known as a dianthus (meaning ‘flower of God’ in Latin). It was often included in images of the Virgin and Child as a reference to the Crucifixion, specifically the nails that fastened Christ to the Cross: its scent resembles that of cloves, which look like little nails.

It is possible this painting was made by members of Schongauer’s workshop.

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